Big Sky Roundup

Zinke, two others, fail to file financial disclosures

By: - November 26, 2021 4:19 pm

U.S. Congressman Ryan Zinke of Montana speaking at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Gage Skidmore).

Former Secretary of the Interior and once-again Congressional hopeful Ryan Zinke acknowledged that his campaign has missed a financial disclosure deadline for filing a report outlining his finances and fundraising.

Zinke served as former President Donald J. Trump’s Secretary of the Interior and left amidst a cloud of controversy that culminated in several investigations in which he has denied wrongdoing. Before that, Zinke had served in the Montana legislature and as the state’s lone Congressional representative.

Media outlets throughout Montana had been asking for financial disclosures from Zinke, apparently with little response. The Daily Montanan submitted a request to the Zinke campaign on Oct. 27, but never received a response.

The financial disclosure statements are required of any candidate running for Congress and any campaign that reaches more than $5,000 in fundraising within 30 days of hitting that mark.

Two other candidates in what is Montana’s newly minted western district also have not filed their campaign disclosure, including Tom Winter, a Democrat and Mary Todd, a Republican.

Todd has never run for office. Winter is a former Missoula-area lawmaker.

Republicans in the race include Al Olszewski, a former orthopedic surgeon and state legislator who has filed disclosure statements that list his assets between $2 million and $5 million.

Democrat Monica Tranel reported a net worth of $1.5 million and $5.2 million with liabilities of a housing mortgage and business debt. Cora Neumann, a Democrat who lives in Bozeman, has a net worth of $181,000 – down significantly from when she ran for U.S. Senate in 2020.

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Darrell Ehrlick
Darrell Ehrlick

Darrell Ehrlick is the editor-in-chief of the Daily Montanan, after leading his native state’s largest paper, The Billings Gazette. He is an award-winning journalist, author, historian and teacher, whose career has taken him to North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Utah, and Wyoming. With Darrell at the helm, the Gazette staff took Montana’s top newspaper award six times in seven years. Darrell's books include writing the historical chapters of “Billings Memories” Volumes I-III, and “It Happened in Minnesota.” He has taught journalism at Winona State University and Montana State University-Billings, and has served on the student publications board of the University of Wyoming.